2. Brad McQuaid - November 18, 2019
Brad McQuaid was the key designer for EverQuest, which is one of the most successful MMORPGs ever made. He passed away in November at the age of 50, though the cause and nature of his death have not been commented on publicly. He was considered a visionary by many of his peers, and his loss was significant industry-wide.
McQuaid started working in the industry in 1989 when he cofounded MicroGenesis alongside Steve Clover. The duo created WarWizard, which they released in 1993 as shareware. Clover followed this with a sequel a couple of years later, which garnered the attention of John Smedley of Sony.
The pair were hired to develop an online role-playing game, which would evolve into EverQuest. McQuaid began working as the project's lead programmer but eventually became its producer. He was later promoted to Vice President of Premium Games and Chief Creative Officer but left Sony to create Sigil Games in 2002.
Sigil went on to create Vanguard: Saga of Heroes as a new entry in the MMORPG market, but the game suffered from an early release. Eventually, he went back to Sony to continue working on EverQuest before launching a Kickstarter Campaign to fund Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen, though the game wasn't released prior to his death.